Tooth Replacement Options: Bridges vs. Implants
If you are faced with a compromised or failing tooth, it's important to weigh your options. If your tooth is already missing, you know how challenging a regular activity such as eating can be when you can't chew properly. It may also feel embarrassing interacting with others when you don't feel confident about your smile.
It's important to discuss replacing your tooth with your dentist in Charlotte as soon as you can because your missing tooth is also impacting your oral health. For example, without a root for support, your jawbone stops regenerating bone and begins to deteriorate. This can eliminate support for surrounding teeth. Without a replacement tooth, your surrounding teeth begin to shift, which causes bite misalignment.
Defining the Options
A dental bridge or implants are the best options for replacing a compromised tooth; but which option is the best for your needs? Let's take a look:
- A Bridge: Dental bridges are permanent appliances that utilize crowns on healthy teeth as anchors for a prosthetic tooth in between. The bridge is made of porcelain crowns designed to restore function and aesthetics to your smile.
- Some cons of a dental bridge are that it does utilize healthy teeth for anchors, which means they are compromised to support dental crowns. Some pros of a dental bridge are that it is a less expensive treatment than dental implants, and there is no surgery required. This appliance will also have to be replaced in the future as a bridge typically lasts 10 to 15 years.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement because they restore both your tooth and your root, eliminating any possibilities of bone deterioration or shifting teeth. A titanium post (the implant) is placed into your bone during a simple surgical procedure, and because it is biocompatible, titanium naturally fuses with your bone. When your implants are healed and fully integrated, they are topped with a porcelain crown.
- Some cons of dental implants are that they do require a surgical procedure and a few months to allow the implant to heal and integrate with your jawbone. Some pros of dental implants are that they don't interfere with the health of other teeth. They look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They can potentially last for a lifetime, which means great longevity for your smile.
If you have other questions about dental bridges, implants, or cosmetic dentistry in Charlotte, NC, we encourage you to contact Gentry Dental today to schedule a consultation.